Jennifer Garner is Bringing Her 'Pretend Cooking' Instagram Show to TV with the Barefoot Contessa (Exclusive)

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Jennifer Garner is bringing her fantastic Instagram presence to the next level with some additional star power.

The Camping star spoke to ET's Keltie Knight at the Baby2Baby Gala, presented By Paul Mitchell, at 3LABs in Culver City, California, on Saturday, and the actress opened up about how she'll be celebrating Thanksgiving alongside Barefoot Contessa host Ina Garten.

"Sometimes I do something called 'pretend cooking show' on my Instagram, [and this year] I did a pretend cooking show for Barefoot Contessa's Thanksgiving special!" Garner declared excitedly.

Garner's pretend cooking show is hardly pretend at all. With some help from her personal assistant -- who has been her right-hand since she joined Instagram just over a year ago -- Garner cooks a real meal, and provides the recipe in the caption. Typically, a long version of the cooking lesson is shared to her IGTV page.

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#PretendCookingShow— fish sticks! They’re fast. They’re delicious. #makeextra 🌟Full episode is on #IGTV🌟 . Ingredients: 1 lb of tilapia 1/4 cup of flour Salt Pepper 1 egg 1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs (regular or whole wheat) 3/4 cup Corn Flake Crumbs (or any sweet cereal you like, smashed to bits) Canola oil (or oil of your preference) . Directions: 1.) Trim your tilapia into fish stick size pieces. You want them to be of similar size and thickness. There is always one side of the fillet that is thinner so I make those into “wide and flat sticks” 🤷‍♀️ 2.) Gather three bowls to use for your batter station. . Bowl 1: 1/4 cup of flour, a few big pinches of salt, about a teaspoon of fresh ground pepper. Bowl 2: crack one egg, add a little water, mix with a fork. Bowl 3: combine the Panko and corn flake crumbs. Have an empty plate ready to catch your fish sticks when they are battered. . 3.) Start at bowl one, coat fish piece in flour, shake excess. Dip in bowl two, shake excess. Drop in bowl three, push crumbs into fish until fully coated. Place on plate. Repeat until all fish pieces are done. 4.) About half way through battering, I like to start heating my oil. About 1/4 inch on medium/high. 5.) When the oil is ready, place 5 to 6 fish pieces in your pan (or whatever will fit, giving them some breathing room). 6.) Prepare a plate covered in paper towels to catch fish sticks when they come out of the oil. 7.) They cook through fast. Pay attention to the color. When they are a deep golden brown, flip. When both sides are sufficiently brown, remove from pan and place on paper towel. Sprinkle with salt immediately. 8.) Repeat for remaining fish sticks, add/heat more oil if necessary. 9.) Yum.

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And, for Garten's Turkey Day special, things were pretty much the same, only with a bigger platform.

"We did it the way we normally do, my assistant and I, and then it's gonna be on her TV show!" Garner explained, with a laugh. "That's my big Thanksgiving plan."

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SALAD: used to mean limp carrot shavings and too cold tomatoes. NOW ➡️ salads are a celebration of what is seasonal and handy. They are also what’s for lunch. Always. #PretendCookingShow . A blend of greens! Kale  Arugula Sweet mix  Swiss chard . Veggies!  Green beans  Broccoli  Peppers  Shaved Brussels sprouts  Roasted sweet potatoes/butternut squash . Fats!  Cheese  Nuts  Avocado . Grains/Protein A big scoop of warm brown rice  Chicken Whatever else sounds good. . Dressing of your choice! I use straight olive oil and red wine/balsamic vinegar. . The key for me is to pick a variety of the above and CHOP it up so that you aren’t battling a dinner plate sized honk of lettuce every other bite.

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Meanwhile, there's apparently a campaign brewing -- according to a recent ET interview with This Is Us star Chris Sullivan -- to get Garner to guest star on the hit NBC drama, and Sullivan is the one spearheading it!

"I mean, we'll see, Chris Sullivan," Garner said with a laugh. "That's sweet, though. He's the best!"

To be honest, the actress might just not have the time to make it happen. With her philanthropic work and being a mom to three kids -- 12-year-old daughter Violet, 9-year-old daughter Seraphina and 6-year-old son Sam, who she shares with ex-husband Ben Affeck -- the actress is spread pretty thin.

"If you really focus on time management, you can get a lot done," Garner suggested.

One event she made sure to carve out some space for in her busy schedule was the Baby2Baby Gala, hosted by a charitable organization Garner has partnered closely with during her time working with Save the Children. 

"We serve kids growing up poor in rural America, and we also work in disaster relief and so I'm often traveling to shelters after a hurricane or, you know, different problems, like the fires we are experiencing right now," said Garner. "And [Baby2Baby] will often supply the kids in the shelter where we are already set up, they'll supply them through Save the Children, and I see their work first hand."

"They have made an enormous difference to the community," she continued. "They have lifted one problem, poverty, which is just full of toxic stressors for moms and children alike, and they have just lifted some of those problems and that's just incredible."

Check out the video below to hear more from Garner about her philanthropic efforts.


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